First sentence: The first time I really began dreaming about the Olympics was in 1976, when Nadia won her three gold medals at Montreal. I was eight years old that summer, and I can remember lying on the living room floor back home in Fairmont, watching the whole thing on television.
Premise/plot: This biography features alternating narratives between Mary Lou Retton and Bela Karolyi. They wrote this biography with John Powers. This book focuses almost exclusively on the sport of gymnastics. Mary Lou's chapters focus on her training and competing. One gets a good sense of the mental and emotional struggles that accompany "becoming" an Olympic champion. Bela's chapters focus on his coaching in Romania and the United States. His narrative goes a bit into politics and why he felt he and his family had to defect from Romania and seek to make America their new home. His personality is a strong one. (So is Mary Lou's, by the way). Both narratives the focus is on working hard all the time and never, ever, ever letting go the fight.
My thoughts: This was one of the books that I checked out from my school library in junior high. I've been watching gymnastics since the late 1980s, and I'm a big, big, big fan of the sport. I've been meaning to reread it for quite a while. I had to interlibrary loan it, but, it was worth it!
© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews